EDITORIAL: Show, give warmth this holiday

Nov. 14, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

B-r-r-r-r! It’s cold!

Chilly temperatures and brisk winds sent shivers through Central Carolina area this week, giving us our first look at what could be a long, cold winter.

Thankfully, the forecast is not quite as harsh over the next few days — and we’re sure to see our share of sunny, warm days before winter comes with her usual fury. But with leaves filling our yards and frost on our windshields on some recent mornings, we know that the coldest season is rearing her head and will soon be here.

So as you’re taking time to unpack your sweaters and make sure that your oil and gas tanks are full before their need becomes much greater, please keep in mind those among us who may not have appropriate shelter or the means to stay warm.

Fortunately, there are agencies that may be able to help those in distress, as was detailed in Wednesday’s Herald. They include:

• The Lee County Department of Social Services, which offers the Low Income Energy Assistance Program, the Crisis Intervention Program, and funding pools from Duke Energy Progress and Central Electric Membership Corporation, according to DSS Supervisor Sabrina Coleman.

• Johnston-Lee-Harnett Community Action Inc., which offers financial assistance to low-income families that face high electric or gas bills, according to Stars Coordinator Tameika Prince.

• The Lee County Department of Senior Services, which offers assistance with heating-related bills through the Helping Fund, according to Social Work Supervisor Tami Carter.

• Christians United Outreach Center of Lee County, which can offer financial assistance to people who are behind with their rent, facing eviction or needing help to pay power bills, said Teresa Dew Kelly, executive director of the organization.

While many people are looking for opportunities to give during the holiday season, there may be no better way than to help others stay warm. Johnston-Lee-Harnett Community Action, Lee County Department of Senior Services and Christians United Outreach Center of Lee County all accept donations for their respective organizations to go toward the above mentioned services that they provide.

The increased costs incurred this time of year, particularly for heat, can be a strain for any family — especially for those that have fallen on hard times. Contributing to one of these agencies would certainly go a long way in helping others to have a brighter — and warmer  — holiday.